Redeeming Anthropology: A Theological Critique of a Modern Science

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Oxford University Press, Aug 4, 2019 - 224 pages
Redeeming Anthropology lifts a veil on anthropology as a modern academic discipline, constituted by its secular sovereign reason and membership in the Enlightenment-bequeathed university. Mining anthropology's biographical corpus, Khaled Furani reveals ways theology has always existed in itsrecesses, despite perpetual efforts at immuring encroachment by this banished other. Anthropologists have alternatively spurned, disregarded, and followed forms of religiosity, transmuting their theistic engagement in their professional work. Centrally, if unwittingly, theology remains inanthropology's consummate rite of ethnographic immersion, defying precepts on the autonomy of reason and knowledge production by immersing the seeker in the sought-after. Nevertheless, anthropology ultimately commits idolatry by largely adoring the concept of Culture, and its constructs, andupholding itself as pre-eminently an ethical triumph. Furthermore, by limiting its horizons to finite categories of "human" and"natural," anthropology entangles itself in "worship" of the State and conclusively of the sovereignty principle that powers modern reason. Recovery from idolatry mightarrive should anthropological reason become attuned to its fragility, cease to fear theistic reason, and open pathways toward revitalization through revelation.


Thoth Immuring Anthropology from Theology
Eucharist Theology Seeping into Anthropology
Hubal Idolatry in Anthropology
Theology Revitalizing Anthropology

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About the author (2019)

Khaled Furani is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. His research interests lie in secularism, poetics, social theory, history of anthropology, Palestine, and the modern condition. He is the author of Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry (2012).

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